When both members of a relationship are dealing with addiction, it can be even more difficult to reach out for help. Each member has the power to either to enable the addiction or keep the other accountable. If one person decides to get clean and goes through rehabilitation, it will be difficult to remain sober when their significant other is still using.
However, if both people decide to get clean together, their chances of remaining clean are greatly increased. In rehab, the couple can gain tools to manage their own addictions, as well as learn ways to encourage their partner’s continued success. Through the use of couples therapy, issues such as codependency and enabling can be recognized and dealt with, and a new, sustainable, and healthy relationship dynamic will begin to emerge.
It is common for both members of a relationship to struggle with drug addiction simultaneously. In a study by the National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center, researchers found that women who abuse drugs or alcohol are more than two times as likely as men to have a partner who also suffers from substance abuse.
Even if a couple is committed to making the relationship work, substance abuse greatly damages the relationship itself and allows room for harmful behaviors such as domestic violence or the neglect of daily responsibilities or childcare. Often, couples where both partners struggle with substance abuse often feel the need to be drunk or high to demonstrate affection or talk about the relationship.
These issues are compounded with the individual negative effects of substance abuse—such as mental or physical health issues—creating an even more complex situation.
Couples and Treatment
For couples with a strong relationship, it may be beneficial for both partners to go through rehab together. According to a study from Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, a positive relationship can be a major motivating factor in both achieving sobriety and successfully maintaining it. Depending on the couple’s unique dynamic and strength as a team, attending rehab together can greatly reinforce their ability to get and stay clean.
There are a number of treatment centers that allow couples to attend rehab together, depending on both the strength of their relationship and an equal commitment to recovery. A key element in attending rehab together is motivation, which increases the chance of sobriety by providing the focus and dedication for long-term maintenance. Attending rehab as a couple reinforces motivation by the couple’s encouragement and commitment to one another.
Sometimes attending rehab together is not an option, due to each individual’s particular needs. If there is a history of violent behavior, or a partner has medical or psychological issues, it is likely that the couple will be placed in separate treatment facilities. However, if the couple is committed to the relationship, there may be communication between the partners, couples therapy, and the potential option to visit one another during treatment. Ultimately, the health of each individual is of the utmost importance, and the treatment centers will determine the best possible route for recovery.
According to an article from the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, couples therapy has shown benefits, including the reduced risk of relapse, even in couples where only one partner is abusing drugs or alcohol.
Couples therapy is a helpful tool in recognizing and dealing with bad relationship habits, such as codependency and enabling behaviors that have formed. By creating a new relationship standard that includes improved ways of dealing with interactions and conflict, couples are well equipped to manage their sobriety together and promote a life of abstinence.
Couples in Recovery
Couples who have gone through recovery together have built-in accountability partners who are just as committed to their success. They offer one another day-to-day support and encouragement, helping to avoid triggers and cravings by utilizing the tools learned in rehab and therapy.
Because one partner’s relapse greatly increases the chance for the other to relapse as well, continued aftercare and support group attendance is essential for long-term success.
If you and your partner are ready for a new life of recovery, call us today at (888) 882-9251 to speak with one of our treatment specialists. You are not alone in your fight against drug and alcohol abuse.